The latest in library products & furnishings from the Fall 2013 Library by Design supplement to Library Journal.
With a rooftop reading garden and reading porches on three floors, the new Austin Central Library, TX, in the city’s downtown will embrace the community’s love affair with books and nature. “Austin is an outdoor kind of city,” says John W. Gillum, Austin Public Library (APL) facilities process manager. “We tried to bring the outdoors indoors in this building.” Construction started in May on the as-yet-unnamed $90 million, 198,000 square foot new Central Library, which will be built of wood, metal, and native limestone. (Gillum says that the APL Friends Foundation, a merger of the Friends and the foundation, is working on getting a large donation and that may result in a name.)
There are few more exciting places to contemplate the evolution of library design than Seattle’s Central Library, designed by Rem Koolhaas. Opened in 2004 and still surprising, it proved to be a vibrant setting for LJ’s 13th daylong Design Institute (DI), held there May 10 and developed in partnership with Seattle Public Library (SPL) and neighboring King County Library System (KCLS). Some 100 participants gathered with architects and vendors for a confab about the changing shape of library spaces as collections alter in response to digital content and budget-driven, ever-morphing staff levels.
As I got ready to tour the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, last spring, as part of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) meeting held nearby, the buzz about the newly unveiled building had reached such a level that I expected to find it, however cool, overhyped. It wasn’t. It was exactly the right amount of hyped. “Every corner of the Hunt Library is designed to be memorable and stunning,” the library’s vision claims. Grandiose as that might sound, those corners deliver.
ARCHIVAL Wrap it up The Spine Wrap Pamphlet Binder offers durability, efficiency, preservation, an aesthetically pleasing appearance, and reversibility. Your pamphlet can be quickly and easily stapled or sewn in to give it ultimate protection. The pressure-sensitive adhesive strip applied across the back after the stitching is complete conceals and protects the binding structure, giving a finished look [...]
LJ’s Design Institute (DI) in Cuyahoga County, OH, was itself an example of one of the major trends it planned to cover—flexibility. When Hurricane Sandy rendered New York–based LJ staff and many presenters incommunicado or unable to travel to the event on its originally scheduled date, architects and the event’s host, the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), worked with LJ to pull off a rescheduled get-together only a month later on December 14, 2012. Attendees rearranged their schedules to provide a full house despite the short notice and approaching holiday season.
The trend toward putting public libraries in retail spaces such as big-box stores, malls, strip centers, and main street buildings shows no sign of slowing. The McAllen Public Library, TX, main library, which opened in late 2011 in a former Wal-Mart, garnered many awards, including the coveted American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award for Interior Architecture. McAllen residents got a lot of library compared with what they would have gotten building new, reduced their impact on the environment, and turned a blight into a flourishing center of community life.